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Display spending expected to remain strong

Posted: 23 May 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:society for information display? sid? flat panel displays?

The capital equipment market for flat-panel displays (FPDs) will grow at an annual growth rate of 25 percent, or more than one-quarter the dollar volume of the semiconductor equipment market, according to an industry executive.

Vincent Sollitto, former president and CEO of Photon Dynamics, told a session prior to the annual Society for Information Display (SID) conference that by 2005, FPD capital equipment will be an $8 billion market worldwide. In 1998, by comparison, the FPD equipment market was only about 5 percent of the size of the IC manufacturing equipment industry.

Sollitto, who will take the reins at Brillian Corp., a spin-off of Three-Five Systems Inc. on June 1st, based his predictions on the fast rate that FPDs are displacing CRT monitors and the proliferation of large, flat-screen TVs. "Revenue growth of the [active-matrix]-LCDs is approximately three times that of semiconductors," said Solitto. "While overall the technologies in the AM-LCD market are 15-plus years behind those used in semiconductors, the next five years will be the "sweet spot" for the market.

Ross Young of market research firm DisplaySearch supported Sollitto in his own presentation. Ross said FPD revenues for desktop applications overtook notebooks in 2002. TVs are expected to overtake desktops in 2007 while mobile phones and PDAs will outpace notebooks in 4 of the next 5 years. "A major driver for TFT LCDs is the mobile phone market," said Young. Color phone shipments are expected to rise at a 29-percent compound annual growth rate, gaining a 67-percent share of the overall FPD market by 2007, Yound added.

Bruce Berkoff, EVP of marketing for L.G.Philips LCD, forecasts that LCDs would be used widely in new devices like "wired" videophones. He said bandwidth exists to allow phone companies to use the technology for videoconferencing and other revenue-generating applications.

The business conference was the first attempt by SID organizers to go beyond technical presentations to explore the business potential of the FPD market.

- Nicolas Mokhoff

EE Times

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